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Swiftmud increases water use restrictions listen

02/24/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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This afternoon in Brooksville the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud) increased some restrictions on water use in the Tampa Bay region. But even tougher watering restrictions were rejected because of concerns about how they would affect jobs.

Richard Owen, deputy executive director of Swiftmud, recommended that the water management district add some features to the current Phase III water use restrictions – which were put in place four months ag...

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Reporter discusses recent trip to Gaza and Israel

02/24/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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Good Afternoon,

Welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity program. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up: we’ll talk with St. Petersburg Times Senior Correspondent Susan Taylor Martin who has just returned from a reporting trip to Gaza and Israel. She’s written a series of reports for the Times and in a moment she’ll be on the air for a live interview.

But first: a lot of listener comments about last Thursday’s debate over whether radical Islam was the main school of thought within the Muslim...

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ACLU sues Clearwater on free speech grounds listen

02/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city of Clearwater today on behalf of a local bait-and-tackle shop that has been engaged in a tussle with the city regarding a mural of game fish and a marine lift on the side of its building.

The shop, known as the Complete Angler, is on Harrison Avenue in Clearwater. After buying the store a couple of years ago, owners Heriberto and Lorraine Quinero, commissioned local artist Matt Evanson to paint a mural on the side of their store.

That’...

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Victor Crist discusses the prison population listen

02/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Last night on the Evening News, we reported on a proposal by business lobbyist Barney Bishop to have early release for some 3,900 inmates in Florida prisons.

He made his proposal because he says the state can’t afford to build new prisons.

There are plans for at least three major prisons, which would cost 1,300 prisoner a piece. The estimated cost for those three would be $300 million.

Victor Crist is the chairman of the Justice Appropriations Committee in the Florida Senate. The l...

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The vast problems confronting President Obama listen

02/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Jeffery Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special advisor to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the Millennium Development Goals.

His latest book is Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, just published in paperback.

In his book, Sachs writes that the 21st century will overturn many of our basic assumptions about economic life, such as the end of American dominance in the world. We asked Sachs if he ever thought it might happen so soon. ...

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Sustainable Living: Fruits we can grow

02/23/09 Jon Butts
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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Our special guest today was Paul Zmoda, a local fruit expert and owner of Flatwoods Farm in Riverview. We talked about our recent freezes in the area; and what, when and where to plant perennial fruit trees, vines, and bushes. Water and nutrient requirements were also part of the discussion.

Debbie Butts, a lifelong horticulturist, also joined the program sharing her knowledge of native edibles and invasive plants.

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Scientists oppose intelligent design bill listen

02/23/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Florida Legislature begins its regular session next week. Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, plans to introduce a bill requiring teachers who teach evolution to also present the idea of intelligent design.

The website for the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed features a video message from Stein, who has been an actor, and a speechwriter and lawyer for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Stein asks people to sign a petition for “acade...

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Health care advocates support president's call for reform listen

02/23/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Among the issues that President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak about in his message to Congress tomorrow night will be dealing with the health care crisis in the country.

Today health care advocates in Florida hosted a conference call urging citizens to stand behind the president’s aims to reform the system.

Richard Kirsch is the national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, which released a report today on how it believes the economy can’t re-booted until the healt...

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Powerful business pushes for early release of some prisoners listen

02/23/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A powerful organization is calling for the state of Florida to stop the construction of three new prisons – expected to cost a total of $300 million – and instead early release nonviolent inmates instead.

It’s not a liberal advocacy group, but instead Associated Industries of Florida, a powerful business lobby, making the proposal.

Barney Bishop is with the group calling for the early release of 3,900 prisoners. Bishop says the state doesn’t have the $300 million, so some people...

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Palestine-Israel conflict debated at Tiger Bay listen

02/20/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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During the more than 60 years since Israel was founded in 1948, there has been conflict between Israel and the Palestinians displaced by the formation of the Jewish state. That clash came to a heated apex recently during Israel’s three-week-long offensive on the Gaza strip in December and January.

At the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center this afternoon, about 50 people from the Tiger Bay Club of Tampa heard from advocates on both sides of the conflict. ...

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Environmentalists get Swiftmud to discuss land swap listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Pressure by a number of environmental groups, members with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, or Swiftmud, agreed today to take a controversial land swap off their consent agenda to allow for a public hearing.

Members of the Gulf Coast Conservancy, Sierra Club Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, the Environmental Alliance of North Florida, the Gulf Restoration Network, and the Hernando Audubon Society plan on attending Tuesday’s meeting to speak about the proposed land swap b...

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Some legislators will promote development to fix economy listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Earlier this week, some state lawmakers announced that they believe a way to kick start Florida’s economy is by streamlining the permitting process for new development.

The St. Petersburg Times reporting this week that some of the groups pushing for looser permitting include such politically powerful groups as the Florida Home Builders Association, the Association of Florida Community Developers, and Associated Industries.

Barney Bishop is president of Associated Industries, base...

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Teachers Union official on plans to scale back Class Size Amendment listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Earlier this week, WMNF covered a press conference where Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced that over $100 million in federal funds for education would be going directly to her Congressional District, which encompasses most of Hillsborough County, a part of St. Petersburg and a part of Manatee County.

Much of that funding will go to programs like Head Start, Title I Schools and for children with special needs.

WMNF asked Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers ...

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Alexandra Harney on 'The China Price' - Part II listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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In her book, The China Price, reporter Alexandra Harney writes that in terms of labor rights, Chinese workers have actually been faring better in courts when suing their employers in recent years.

She writes that although such lawsuits could act as a break in derailing projects that might help nudge China’s GDP grow even higher, and thus make it less attractive to foreign investors, those individual rights cases do make China seem more like other nations, which could actually help the...

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Stimulus could create jobs at Moffitt Cancer Center listen

02/19/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Hundreds of construction and research jobs could be created if the Moffitt Cancer Center is able to tap into money from the federal stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama this week.

In a press conference this morning, Moffitt officials announced they will apply for funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act – more than $1 billion of which is earmarked for construction, renovation or repair of existing research facilities.

Less...

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